Tiger Day at Bovington Tank Museum

The Daily Echo has posted a story and photo gallery of this weekends Tiger Day event at the Tank Museum at Bovington UK.

290417purTigerday08.jpg.galleryTHOUSANDS of people visited The Tank Museum today for an event which included two restored World War Two tanks which featured in Brad Pitt’s blockbuster movie ‘Fury’.

Around 4,500 people visited the museum in Bovington, for a day dedicated to Tiger 131, the only running Tiger 1 in the world.

Tiger 131 runs only twice a year, at Tiger Day in April and again on Tiger Day in September, and always attracts huge crowds when it does.

And this was the first Tiger Day event where tickets have all sold out before the day itself.

Visitors were treated to a day of talks and tours on the subject of Tiger and its Second World War contemporaries, as well as an opportunity to see rare objects from the Museum archives relating to the capture of the German tank.

One of the highlights was the chance to see Tiger take to the arena alongside its ‘Fury’ co-star, the Sherman tank, with other contemporaries like the British Matilda I and Comet.

Read full article and picture gallery here.

Below the Turret Ring blog on US armor modernization plans

The Blog Below the turret Ring has made a new post looking at US armor modernization plans.  As with their other posts, this is a well written and substantive piece.  Certainly worth a look for those looking for a summary of current US armor plans.  Click on the headline below to go to the full piece.

Below the Turret Ring – US armor modernization plans

2cwCDYzThe armed forces of the United States of America are running a number of projects to modernize the land vehicle and amphibious vehicles during the next few years. The Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), based on a modified Bradley chassis, will replace the obsolete M113 (not called Gavin) in the Army’s inventory. The AMPV features enhanced protection against mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), a total of 2,907 AMPVs will replace the M113-based vehicles as general-purpose vehicles, mission command vehicles, mortar carriers, medical evacuation and medical treatment vehicles in the US Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs). On the long run a further 1,922 AMPVs might be procured, if the M113 should be replaced at brigade level (and lower) on a one-to-one basis by the AMPV.

In general both Army and USMC are interested in upgrading or replacing the existing medium weight personnel carriers (both APCs and IFVs) in the near future. The Army is working on improving the M2 Bradley and the Stryker, developing ECPs (engineering change proposals) and prototypes for future enhancements. The Marines meanwhile are working on a survivability upgrade of the tracked Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), which is being developed by …..

Read the rest of the article here.

 

AFV News from around the Web

Another installment of AFV news from around the web.  Click in the headline to go to the full article.

 

Defense News – Indian Army’s tank modification proposals could delay induction by 7 years

374926-arjunNEW DELHI — The Indian Army is seeking major structural and design changes in the homegrown Arjun Mk-2, but the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organization says the “changes” could take up to seven years, causing a delay in the induction schedule.   The service wants DRDO to redesign the hull, the turret structures and use newer material to reduce the tank’s weight. The Arjun Mk-2 currently weighs about 68.6 tons, compared to the 62-ton Arjun Mk-1 tank currently in operation with the Army. The Mk-2 version’s weight makes it inappropriate for operations in the semi-developed sector of the western front bordering Pakistan where tank battles would take place, according to an Indian Army official.

 

Defense News – Rostec to swallow Russia’s premier battletank maker

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMOSCOW — Russia’s largest state-owned defense industry holding, Rostec, is set to become even larger. The company has announced plans to take ownership over UralVagonZavod, a subsidiary of the Tractor Plants Concern specializing in military vehicles like tanks and other armored platforms, according to a statement provided to Defense News.  Rostec is an umbrella corporation founded in 2007 to begin consolidating and reforming disparate elements of the Russian defense and high-technology base. It is run by Sergey Chemezov, who is reportedly a close friend of President Vladimir Putin. Under Chemezov’s charge, Rostec has taken about two-thirds of Russia’s defense industry under its wing.

 

Business Insider – The US Army wants dummy Russian tanks so it can practice blowing them away

t-72-tankThe US Army just put out an invitation for bids on building a modification for Humvees to make them look like Russian T-72 tanks.  The invitation for bids states that the mods will help the Army simulate realistic battle scenarios in training. The solicitation also mentions MILES/TESS quite a few times, suggesting the fake tanks will be likely used for Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System/Tactical Engagement Simulation System — the military’s version of laser tag.

 

Marine Times – Marine makes history as Corps’ first female tank officer

170412-M-VU801-001In another first for the Marine Corps, 2nd Lt. Lillian Polatchek graduated at the top of her class from the Army’s Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course, making her the Corps’ first female tank officer.  “I’m just sort of looking at it as another Marine graduating from this course,” Polatchek described her accomplishment in a Defense Department video. She will now serve with the 2 nd Tank Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  Polatchek’s graduating class contained 67 students, five of whom were Marines, a Defense Department news story says.

IHS Jane’s 360 – Poland relocates Leopard 2A5 tanks to the east

p1693076The Polish Ministry of National Defence (MND) has decided to relocate two of its newest tank battalions from the country’s western border to strengthen units stationed in the east.  The Leopard 2A5 MBTs of the 34th Armoured Cavalry Brigade (part of the 11th Armoured Cavalry Division) based in Zagan have been moved to the 1st Tank Brigade (part of the 16th Mechanised Division) based in Wesola: a city close to Poland’s capital, Warsaw. While the first tanks began arriving at the beginning of April, the training of drivers, gunners, and commanders has been under way in Wesola since January.

 

IHS Jane’s 360 – Australia receives six more HERCULES armoured recovery vehicles

Australia has received six additional BAE Systems M88A2 HERCULES armoured recovery vehicles (ARVs) from the United States, bringing to 13 the number of such vehicles in service with the Australian Army (AA).  Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said in a statement on 20 April that the delivery of the vehicles marks an important milestone for the AA as the ARVs are “critical to ensuring the safe and effective operation” of Australia’s M1A1 Abrams main battle tank (MBT) capability.  Valued at more than AUD58 million [USD44 million], the six new HERCULES will support armoured units based in Darwin and Townsville as well as operator and maintenance training at Puckapunyal and Bandiana in Victoria, said Pyne.

Aberdeen Proving Ground Centennial Live Fire Event

For those who may find themselves in Maryland this spring, here is an event that is sure to be of interest to the AFV enthusiast.

AAPG Centennial Live Fire – Free & Open to the Public!

17884640_10154783768331284_4339089094291787130_nAberdeen Proving Ground invites the community to join us as we celebrate the APG Centennial with a live fire demonstration hosted by the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command’s Aberdeen Test Center. See tanks, vehicles, small arms and more! FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!!! Bring the family! Open to children ages 5+.

There will be two demonstrations, one at 10 a.m. and another at 2 p.m. with separate tickets for each event. #APG100LiveFire #APG100#TeamAPG

—- TICKET INFORMATION —-
You MUST have a ticket to attend and tickets are limited. Tickets will be available for in-person pick up ONLY. Two separate ticket distribution areas have been designated. One for on-post personnel and one for the general public. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each ID-card holder (on-post personnel) can receive up to four (4) tickets for one of two demonstrations. Each member of the general public (with government-issued ID) can receive up to four (4) tickets for one of two demonstrations. Attendees may only attend the demonstration time identified on their ticket.

—- TICKET PICKUP DATES & TIMES —-
**April 20, 2017 – Installation personnel ticket pickup at APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center (Bldg. 3326) from noon to 1:30 p.m. (or until complete)
**April 22, 2017 — Community ticket pickup at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen from 9 to 11 a.m. (or until complete).

— INSTALLATION ACCESS —
All attendees must access the installation via MD Rt. 715. Adults 18+ must have a valid photo ID to gain access to APG.
More information will be provided at time of ticket pickup.

AFV News from around the Web

It’s been a little while since we did a round-up of recent internet articles about tanks and AFVs.  Frankly, there has not been as much news as usual the past couple weeks.  As usual, click on the headline if you would like to read the full article.

Business Insider – US tanks are getting a small update that signals a big shift to defending Europe against Russia

us-m1-abrams-tank-green-camouflageHaving settled into their nine-month deployment to Europe, members of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team from the US Army’s 4th Infantry Division are making a slight update to their vehicles.  Earlier this month, the first M1A2 Abrams tank with a woodland green paint scheme appeared in Europe, signaling the unit’s shift to a camouflage scheme more appropriate for its new surroundings than the desert tan colors previously used.

 

Bangkok Post – China tank deal cut ‘due to cash woes’

c1_1232212_170414043631_620x413The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has cut the number of Chinese VT-4 battle tanks it wants to buy from 98 to 60 due to insufficient funds, army chief Chalermchai Sittisat said Thursday. Gen Chalermchai said the 60 new tanks will be divided equally between the 2nd and 3rd Cavalry Battalions in the northeastern provinces of Udon Thani and Khon Kaen. The new tanks will replace US-made M-41 models which will be decommissioned after having been in service for more than 40 years, he said.

 

Defense News – Army speeds up future Modular Active Protection System for combat vehicles

Detroit Arsenal, Mich. — The Army is speeding up development work on its future abrams-tank.  As the service works on expediting interim solutions for combat vehicle Active Protection Systems, officials are simultaneously ramping up some of the first MAPS tests using soft-kill countermeasures. There is also a plan to begin using the first prototypes of a common controller toward the end of the year. Once the common controller is available, the Army will begin “layered testing,” mixing both soft-kill and hard-kill countermeasures, Col. Glenn Dean told Defense News in a March 27 interview at the Detroit Arsenal in Michigan.

 

Defense News – Spain to spend $4 billion on new combat vehicles suited for hybrid warfare

General_Dynamics_8x8_armoured_vehicle_could_be_future_wheeled_combat_vehicle_of_Spanish_Army_640_001MADRID – Spain plans to acquire 348 “Piranha 5” 8×8 wheeled armored fighting vehicles from General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) in a first phase of purchase, Secretary of State of Defense Vicente Conde told the national Congress.  He also added that in other phases of acquisition the total number of units for the Spanish Army could be around 1,000.  The Spanish defense ministry’s No. 2 leader said that the total estimated budget of this program will be €3.8 billion (US $4 billion): €1.6 billion (US $1.7 billion) for the acquisition itself and €2.2 billion (US $2.4 billion) for the maintenance and modernization services during the 30 years of useful life of the program.

 

Sputnik – Latin American States Mull Buying US Armored Vehicles to Fight Security Threats

1035017094WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The armored vehicles will help Latin Americans to fight some ‘illicit networks’ operating within state borders and threatening local governments, according to the US Southern Command.  “The threat from ‘illicit networks’ in Latin America continues to grow,” US Southern Command Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Joseph DiSalvo stated in the release. “And armored vehicle modernization efforts by partner nations there will play a part in combating the threat.”  Potential clients include Peru, which may soon finalize a sales deal with the United States to purchase Stryker vehicles, the release noted.

 

Next Big Future.com – Russia developing 152 mm tank gun and small battlefield nuclear weapons

88b0778db7b0e6b01b39ac81652b4d2d-730x430Russia in considering upgrading future T-14 main battle tnks to use the 2A83 152 mm gun instead of its current 2A82 125 mm gun. The 2A83 gun has a high-speed APFSDS shell with a 1,980 m/s muzzle velocity, only dropping to 1,900 m/s at 2 km.  However, Russian engineers have so far kept the 125 mm-size gun, assessing that improvements in ammunition could be enough to increase effectiveness, while concluding that a larger bore weapon would offer few practical advantage.  Russia is both miniaturizing the nuclear warheads and using sub-kiloton low-yield warheads. Battlefield nuclear weapons could be pared with the larger tank gun.

 

 

AFV News from around the Web

Another installment of AFV articles from various news sources. Click on the headline to go to the full article.

 

The Motley Fool – After the M1A2 Abrams, the Army Wants a New Tank for 2030

m1a1-abrams-is-usmc_largeThe U.S. Army boasts a motorpool stacked to the rafters with 6,000 M1 Abrams main battle tanks — more tanks than some countries have soldiers. Yet for some crazy reason, Congress keeps buying more.  Actually, the reason isn’t totally crazy. The U.S. only has one factory left that’s totally dedicated to the production of main battle tanks — General Dynamics’ (NYSE:GD) factory in Lima, Ohio. Sporadic demand from tank-buyers, however, keeps this factory always on the edge of having to shut down operations — at which point the U.S. wouldn’t be able to build tanks if it suddenly needed to. (A shutdown would also cost jobs in an important Congressional district.)

 

Washington Examiner – General: US no longer has a ‘world class’ tank

730x420-de444e0b953d5893ad17913d4697f7f3U.S. tanks are now roughly on par with Russian tanks, according to a top general, and the American military doesn’t have the technology to recover its former advantage.  “I would not say that we have the world class tank that we had for many, many years,” Lieutenant General John Murray said during a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing on modernizing the Army. “I’ll be the optimist and say that we’re at parity with a lot of different nations.”

 

Newsweek – Moscow Man Convicted of Trying to Smuggle Soviet Tank into Kazakhstan

img_4658Russian authorities have slapped a three-year suspended sentence on a Moscow man for trying to smuggle a World War II-era tank into neighboring Kazakhstan, state news agency Itar-Tass reports.  The man—whose name federal authorities did not divulge—obtained a Soviet Т-34-85 circa from 1945, from a Latvian citizen at the bargain price of €20,000, but planned to sell it off to a buyer in Kazakhstan for more than 10 times that amount.

 

War is Boring – The Biggest Tank Battle in History Wasn’t at Kursk

1-y_jiSY5sV_KwWGG8catgLAA thousand coffee table books and countless hours of popular history programs have described the Battle of Prokhorovka, part of the Third Reich’s 1943 Operation Citadel, as the largest tank battle in history. Near the city of Kursk on the Eastern Front, hundreds of Soviet tanks slammed into the 2nd SS Panzer Corps in an enormous conflagration of flesh and metal.  Prokhorovka was certainly an important clash and one of the largest tank battles ever, but it might be time to retire its description as the biggest — a claim which has been seriously questioned in recent years by historians with access to Soviet archives opened since the end of the Cold War.

 

Warrior – Why Allies’ Secret DD Tank Failed on D-Day

DD-TankIf you’ve seen the blockbuster movies The Longest Day (currently on Netflix) or Saving Private Ryan, a big part of the story is how infantry fought through the obstacles on Omaha Beach (the wisdom of sending two divisions into that meat-grinder can be debated at another time).  But the lack of tank support wasn’t part of the plan. In fact, it was one hell of an instance where that notorious and unwelcome Murphy’s Law put in an appearance, costing the infantry some much-needed support. It would have been their secret weapon: the Dual-Drive, or DD, tank.

 

The National Interest – The PT-76: The Russian Tank That Can ‘Swim’

verkhnyaya_pyshma_tank_museum_2012_0181The PT-76 seems like a minor oddity of the Cold War — a Soviet amphibious light tank with thin armor and an unimpressive gun. Certainly it seemed bound for rough treatment on modern battlefields full of heavy weapons and heavier tanks. But the floating PT-76 chalked up a remarkable record, carrying knife-wielding Himalayan soldiers into battle, sinking gunboats on the Ganges Delta, dueling powerful U.S. Patton tanks in Vietnam, and launching amphibious surprise attacks on both sides of the same Middle Eastern war. The first article in this two-part series will look at the origin and characteristics of the PT-76, the nasty shock it gave U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the historic countermeasure used against it.

Iran introduces new Karrar MBT

p1692951Iran has revealed to the public their new “Karrar” main battle tank.  As can be expected, Iranian government sources have described the new vehicle in rather glowing terms, while releasing few details.  According to Defense Blog.com, the Karrar appears to be an upgraded T-72S, modified with a new turret and improved armor and electronics.  According to the Iranian Mehr News Agency, the new Karrar tank is “100 percent Iranian made” and is “superior to the Russian-made T-90MS in certain aspects.”  Iran had been exploring the option of purchasing T-90 tanks from Russia, but says that their ability to produce the Karrar makes purchasing tanks from foreign countries unnecessary.  As might be expected, Russian news source Sputnik International was quite to jump on the Iranian comparison to the T-90, declaring that “Iran’s newest tank is no match to Russia’s T-90”  Meanwhile, Western media sources have chimed in, including articles in the National Interest and Popular Mechanics.

Probably the best description currently available online is from the blog Under the Turret Ring in their March 12 post Production version of the Karrar MBT unveiled (updated).  As usual, this blog provides a rather sober and well-informed analysis of the topic.  Also worth checking out is the thread on the Karrar over at Sturgeon’s House forum.

News articles on the Karrar (listed by country):

Iran – Mehr News Agency: Iran unveils highly-advanced Karrar Tank

Iran – PressTV: Iran unveils world-class indigenous tank

Russia – Sputnik International: Despite Striking Resemblance Iran’s Newest Tank is no Match to Russia’s T-90

Russia – RT News: Iran announces mass production of domestic main battle tank, which looks like Russian T-90MS

USA – The National Interest: Iran’s ‘New’ Karrar Tank: “One of the Most Advanced Tanks in the World”?

USA – Popular Mechanics: Iran’s New Tank Is a Whole Lot of Meh

USA – Froxtrot Alpha: Iran’s New Tank Makes Lofty Claims It Hasn’t Backed Up

Pakistan – Quwa: Iran Showcases New Karrar Main Battle Tank